Subject: Re: VAX 6000 - 320 (fwd)
To: BSD-VAX Mail List <>
From: Geoff Roberts <>
List: port-vax
Date: 07/27/1999 17:57:38
----- Original Message -----
From: Brian D Chase <>
To: NetBSD/vax Mailing List <>
Sent: Tuesday, 27 July 1999 3:44
Subject: FS: VAX 6000 - 320 (fwd)

> Just forwarding this from comp.os.vms.  If you want a bigger VAX, here's
> one.  We could use NetBSD/vax support on these nicer VAX 6000 series
> machines.  :-)

I second the motion.  I'm no C guru, nor Un*x guru, but will help anyway I

I have several 6000's available for development/experimentation with
different types/amounts of CPU's,  6210-260, 6310-320, 6410-460 with ram
fits from 64Mb to 256mb.  Drive/Controller-wise, some have CI only(XMI
and/or BI cards), - they need a HSC or other MSCP server - some with
standalone SDI,(KDB50 -BI card), DSSI (XMI bus DSSI card) or SCSI
(CMI-1000 - 3rd party (CMD) BI cards).  They all have either BI or XMI
network cards and TK70 carts.

What seems to be nonexistent/unavailable for these is necessary docs for cpu
and bus functions, especially anything XMI related....

Seriously folks, if you want to run a BIG Vax, these are probably the best
option.  They are dead easy to convert to single phase, and only need about
500w (2A@240vac for a 6320 with 64mb).  They are very robust and reliable as
well, unlike some of the 8xxx series machines, and they only produce a
fraction of the heat, and don't get bothered if the place isn't
The only maintenance issue with these is usually the TK70.  Because of the
size/weight it's not hard to get hold of them when they
are retired, often free for hauling them away.  Some of ours also came from
scrapyards at around A$100-150 each.

SDI drives are the most common with these.  Avoid RA8x series, as they are
64KG monsters that use more power to spin up than the Vax does.  SA70
adapters with 4 house brick sized RA70, 71, 72 or 73 drives are a good match
for these.  An SA5xx, 6xx or 8xx cabinet would usually have 2 SA70's in the
top position, with either RA8x, (in the 5xx cabs) or RA9x (in the 6xx or
RA90's, 91's or 92's are not bad, around 20Kg, so 1 or two are ok
weight/power wise.
Tape wise, SCSI for a 4mm DAT is good if you have it, but the TK70 is ok if
that's all you have, TU81+  9 tracks are fairly easy to come by, but you
need the BI card in the Vax to match it, (it doesn't speak SDI). Very
reliable though, and low power requirements. TA78 or 79's are SDI, but they
are huge, heavy and hungry, (10-14A @240vac, single phase) and can be a
maintenance nightmare due to the fancy air/vaccuum driven autothreading.
(The bloody great air pump/compressor is what chews all the juice)
They do look impressive though...

(From quoted message)
>> I need to get rid of this 300 lb. computer ASAP

WARNING:  According to my owners manual, it's actually 318 KILOGRAMS or
700LBS!  And that's just the sytem cabinet.
He doesn't mention drives etc, though if you could score the right
controller card, you could probably fit some drives in the cabinet easily

If you fancy taking a look at what's involved, I am posting some pics of a
recent "rescue" of a complete 6000 system on a web page.

Still adding stuff as I get time, but it will show all the parts of the
system and some internal shots, plus pics (later) of a "gutted"
6200 showing the major components....
If there is sufficient interest, I will take some more shots and show more
details, plus some of the PSU mods for single phase operation. (240vac


Geoff Roberts
Computer Systems Manager
Saint Mark's College
Port Pirie, South Australia.
ICQ #:  1970476
Work Phone: 61-8-8633-8834 (1100-1800 Mon-Thurs)